Tie One On


In a hot desert country not long ago, a shopkeeper set up his stall. The man sold ties. He had ties of every variety: thin ones, wide ones, ones with stripes, others with polka dots.

On a hot, scorching day, the shopkeeper saw a cloud of dust in the horizon. As the cloud of dust of approached, the shopkeeper saw it was a man stumbling across the desert.

The traveler said, “I’ve been traveling across the desert and I’m dying of thirst. Do you have any water?”

The shopkeeper said, “Sorry, I don’t have any water. I’m out of water, but would you like to buy a tie. I have wide ones, thin ones, stripes and ones with dots.”

“I don’t need a tie. I’m dying of thirst. I need water.”

“I don’t have water but there’s a village about a mile away, and I know it has a restaurant.” So, he sent the thirsty man away.

About an hour later the shopkeeper sees another dust cloud on the horizon. It’s the same thirsty man crawling on his hands and knees.

The shopkeeper asks, “Couldn’t you find the restaurant?”

The thirsty man sighs. “The restaurant wouldn’t let me in without a tie.”


Jokes you can bank on.

Q: How many bankers does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Four. One to hold the bulb, and three to try to remember the combination.

Open For Business

Did you hear the one about the bank where the employees went on strike, leaving the bank officers to do the teller’s tasks?

While the strike was on, a customer called the bank to ask if they were open. They told her that they had two windows open.

Then the caller asked, “Can’t I just come through the front door?”

Banking Crisis Looming in Japan

According to the latest reports, a major banking crisis is imminent in Japan.

The crisis began last week following news that Origami Bank had folded.  Now we are hearing that Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank is planning to cut back some of its branches.

Rumor has it that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and could be had for a song.

During trading today shares in Kamikaze Bank nose-dived. Latest reports say that 500 back-office staff are on the chopping block at Karate Bank.

Further analysts have reported that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank –staff fear they may be in for a raw deal.

Thought for the Week

“A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”  ~ attributed to both Mark Twain and Robert Frost


This post is number 666 from my Word files – no joke.  You’ve been warned.   😆



The Long And Short Of It

Bank of Montreal

Playing Corporation Games, Changing Corporation Names

Once upon a time, long, long ago, before the internet, computers, tablets and smart phones, we had the time to use big words, and impressive speech and writing, and businesses had imposing names.  Then progress(?) brought us Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and all the rest, and our memory and attention span got carved up into little 140 character slices like cheap sushi.

Soon, we were so busy posting pictures of the baked beans we had for lunch that everything had to be shorter, faster, sooner!  The military especially, got into the business of acronyms.  SNAFU to you, too.  The government gave us FBI, CIA, DEA, IRS and NSA.  Companies began re-inventing themselves in sound-bites, or bytes.

The American Oil Company shortly became Amoco.  Standard Oil turned into Esso (S.O.).  Even the Off-Broadway Awards ended up as the Obies (O.B.s).

The record I think, belongs to the City of Los Angeles, which has truncated down from its original, Spanish name of “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula”, to the easily recognised L. A., a 98% reduction.

In Canada, it appeared most noticeable among the banks.  It seemed the larger the company, the smaller the name became.  A century ago, we had time to talk about The Canadian Imperial Bank, and The Bank of Commerce.  When they merged to become The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, they soon became known simply as C.I.B.C.

The Bank of Toronto seduced The Dominion Bank of Canada, and their married name, The Toronto Dominion Bank, was soon merely T.D.  When they almost went down the toilet with some American banks, they were White Knight rescued by Canada’s largest trust company, wisely named Canada Trust.  Strangely, there now seems to be time to say TD/Canada Trust – except by the Americans.

The financially re-invigorated corporation has now taken over a chain of 1300 small banks, east of the Mississippi.  They are known in the U.S. simply as TD Banks, so that Americans don’t think we’re stealing all their cash.

Nobody wanted to merge with poor little Bank of Montreal, and shortening its name to B.M. had unfortunate implications, so it became BMo – Bee-Moe.  When banks stopped being places that just stored and lent money and paid interest, BMo spun off BMo Financial.  To keep the banking separate from the gambling investment side of things, BMo Financial now owns The Bank of Montreal.  When they desperately try to drum up banking business with TV ads, they speak of ‘BMo-Bank of Montreal.’  They have come full circle, and the tail is now firmly wagging the dog.

Company names used to accurately and completely describe what a company did, made or sold.  You knew you were going to get greasy hash from ‘Bob’s Diner’, whereas ‘Roberto’s Food Emporium’ might be a wholesale warehouse, a grocery store or a restaurant.

I worked at Waterloo Metal Stamping, which made parts strictly for office furniture.  So many people approached them to make outside parts that they changed their name to Waterloo Furniture Components.

While not making them shorter, some companies hide behind silly names with no informational value.  If it hadn’t been for a class-action lawsuit, caused by allowing a Chinese company to make yoga pants so thin that the labels on panty liners were legible, I would never know what Lululemon was all about.

Likewise, what the hell does the company named Zulily do for a living??!  These two look like they were named by the smoked-up losers in a scrabble game, from leftover tiles.

Is there a literary copyright© on the name Ali Baba?  We have an Ali Baba Steakhouse locally.  I just hope those are beef steaks, not camel.  I think the company Alibaba, has a name which appears to have been formed by a rear-end collision.  What do they make/sell – camel saddles, sesame rolls, flying carpets, oil lamps??  Open says me – and tell all.  It would take a Genie-us to know.

I recently saw an online ad for a product called Lolo.  It came complete with a questionnaire.  Do you take Lolo?  Are you a doctor who prescribes Lolo?  Not without knowing what the Hell it is!  It turns out to be a new, cutesy birth-control pill.  Just what we needed.  It contains a heavy dose of obfuscation.

Do any of you have any silly name stories?  Don’t rush.  I’ve had enough for a while.   🙄


Triviana Too

Just so that I don’t concentrate too much on you guys and lose my touch, I had an op-ed letter printed the other day, giving some whiney bitch shit.  She wants to live in an apartment facing a main street and sit out on the balcony.

First she whined about the traffic noise of cars and trucks, then she bitched about motorcycles “with no mufflers, i.e. straight pipes.”  No manufacturer should be allowed to make or sell them, and the police should stop ignoring them, and press charges for excess noise.

The newspaper allowed me to point out that it is already illegal for any manufacturer to make or sell bikes “with no mufflers i.e. straight pipes.”  I also emphasised that motorcyclists are the most heavily harassed group on the road.  Anyone fool enough to go with straight pipes would almost immediately be pulled over.

A biker in B.C. was stopped for excess noise and told to have the problem checked/solved.  When he reported to the officer the next day, he was given a noise ticket because he didn’t use the bike shop the police officer demanded he use.  Many bikes emit a higher, sharper exhaust note than cars.  They can be noticeable even when they’re well within legal guidelines.  If she don’t like the noise, she could move to an apartment on a quieter street.  I know it’ll be quieter when she’s gone.

I fell off the couch laughing the other night.  Several years ago, we had a brewery strike, and beer had to be brought in from the U.S., opening the Canadian market.  Now, many American brands are made here to Canadian specs.  Coors is advertising a new Coors Lite – Platinum – with 6% alcohol.  Thicker than the usual Canadian slop, it can hardly be considered a Lite beer.

A few years ago the youngest senator ever, was elected.  He was just a couple of months over the minimum age.  Being a little more vital, and a lot less cautious and repressed than most of his peers, he carried on badly – booze, drugs, parties, women, putting the entire senate in the media and in a bad light.  One of the older senators called him in for a little talk about his actions.

He did not take the criticism well.  He yelled back that they were all hypocrites.  He told the old senator that, “I’m not doing anything that the rest of you aren’t doing behind closed doors.”  The old man replied, “You damned young fool!  That’s what doors are for!”

The wife and I watch a fair amount of British telly on the Knowledge Network, out of B.C.  Since they don’t include commercials, there is always time to fill, at the end of an hour or half-hour.  At least once a week they play a 1979 video with sound and music, but no dialog, about a small dairy.  They appear to be making cheese.  The amounts of milk seemed even smaller than at the little dairy in my home town.

The second or third time I saw it, I made out the name Bannia.  Googling that, I found that Bannia is an Italian town on the European mainland, north and east of Venice.  This little dairy is world-famous for its goat cheese.  This is the area where the wife’s Italian ancestors came from, and explains her allergies to cow’s-milk.  Only goats can be raised in this steep mountainous region.  There were no cows, so her ancestors never developed the enzymes necessary to digest the milk.  There’s a lot of European cheeses at the Eurofood store, but I don’t remember seeing Bannia goat-cheese.  I wonder if AFrankAngle ever has.

What’s in a name?  $75,000 of my money!  After paying that much to a consulting firm, the name of the white-elephant street railroad has been decided as Ion.  The name is particularly apt.  If you turn it upside down, it reads iou.  Pat, I’d like to buy a vowel, at $25,000 each.

I am linguistically irked at the media’s continuing cutesy references to Christina Aguilera, as Xtina.  If you remove Christ from Christmas by writing it as Xmas, as many Bible thumpers complain, when you remove the “Christ” from Christina, all you have left is Xina, and we’ve already had that lesbian TV show.

My statistics page continues to astound and amuse me.  Occasionally I see two views and one viewer, but both views are the same post, and my one viewer is from Canada – and Poland.  I’d believe in a border crosser if it were Canada and the US.  There’s a pair of search terms that make me chuckle.  They are, “Unknown search term” and “Other search term.”  Aren’t they both unknown?  Or does WordPress want me to ask nicely, or offer to pay, to find out?

In the auto-parts plant, everything had to be labeled to pass QS 9000 accountability regulations.  One day I noticed a label on my garbage pail.  Part No. was, N/A.  Quantity was, N/A.  Status was, OK to scrap.  Description was, GARBAGE for compactor.  Next operation was, Transport to Landfill.  The part that perplexed me was under Lot Traceability, where bold print insisted NO FOREIGN/OTHER MATERIAL ALLOWED.  Despite a written request, I was never informed as to what constituted foreign material, French berets?  Discarded sushi?

The forming ovens which heated the vinyl sheets, had a lever-controlled damper for fine temperature control.  When the little clerk responsible for establishing the QS9000 paperwork came out, he asked one of the workers what the range was.  He was told that it could be anywhere from full-open, to full-closed.  The next day there was a label on it giving the range from 0% to 100%, and a snarky instruction not to exceed those limits.

Well, after whirling through this post, my mind has finally settled down.  I hope yours does soon, too.  Next post, a single, cohesive theme, a little left-field maybe, but a single theme, I promise.  I think we both deserve a nap.